Wendy Gossett M. Ed., CYMHS, is a Parenting and Relationship Coach and a Certified Youth Mental Health Specialist based in Denver Colorado. She has worked with countless parents and children to help them gain realistic expectations of themselves and each other. Harvard Business Journal states that self awareness is the number one quality a leader needs to be successful and is is also listed as the number one skill required for executive functioning. Wendy helps families gain this self awareness through tools like temperament psychology and the Enneagram. These tools give insight into our deepest and often unconscious motivations and behavior patterns that may be working against us rather than for us.
She has also worked with many Fortune 500 companies as a trainer and facilitator. In addition to her expertise in the field of temperament psychology, Wendy has a master’s degree with over twenty years of experience in all areas of training including parenting her own daughter who is her complete opposite. She is a contributing writer for Denver Parent and for the past decade, she has been compiling all her acquired knowledge and experience with families, into a comprehensive parenting textbook to help parents have a “User Manual” for their children.
I had high expectations for what a mom/daughter relationship should be. Although I had a master’s degree in education and tons of experience teaching in the classroom and with corporate teams. I couldn’t figure out how to parent my own daughter! My visions of shopping at the mall, getting our nails done and having heart to heart chats about boys were not playing out in reality. She was nothing like the daughter I had imagined I would have. Rather than accepting her for who she was designed to be, I was focusing on her negative behavior and unconsciously wishing I could change her.
I was highly expressive, creative and scheduled, and my daughter was logical, practical and free-spirited. I wanted desperately to have a meaningful relationship with her, but I didn’t know how. I wanted to love and accept her for who she was, but I couldn’t parent her the way I parented my first-born son and I couldn’t parent her based on what came naturally to me. The game changer was when I began to apply the temperament concepts I had used in the corporate world, to my daughter and the people in my own family. When her behavior was aloof and unappreciative, I began to look for the underlying message she was unable to express, “Mom, I need to feel confident, and when I show emotion it makes me feel vulnerable.”
By understanding how our brains function, I realized that her weaknesses were my strengths and her strengths were my weaknesses. She was my inspiration to create my Kid and Family Navig8tion System so that each family member can learn about and honor each other’s strengths. I learned that together, my daughter and I make each other better. I teach her, but she also teaches me. Parenting is a two-way street!
I recently got stuck in a very bad jam. There was a twenty car pile up due to a Colorado blizzard and my kids and I were cooped up in our car for five hours! I decided to teach my kids an unwanted lesson they would never forget. When life gives you a jam, start jammin! The Backstreet Boys were on the radio, so what else was I to do? I never dreamed that this family video of my little parenting lesson would go viral all over the world and be seen by Hoda Kotb, Debra Norville, the BackStreet Boys, and even Princess Kate!
Maybe you have never been stuck on the highway for five hours, but there are many other types of jams you can get stuck in as a parent.
There is the jam sandwich that gets stuck to your backside because you dared to sit down after your three-year-old had lunch.
There are jammies that get stuck to your body because you are too busy feeding, diapering and chasing kids to ever put on regular clothes.
There is the cracker jam that happens when your son takes a RItz and jams it into his younger sister’s ear.
Or the toe jam when you kick a stray toy in the dark.
And as much as you try to “Let it Go,” that oh so popular kid jam gets stuck in your head after your aspiring young Elsa sings it for the 573rd time…. at the top of her lungs!
Or maybe you are like I was and you just don’t know the best way to parent one or more of your kids.
I get it. I’ve been there. I had two under two in diapers. Parenting is sticky business!